Two boys and an 18-year-old man have been charged with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz and a police informant.
David McDaniel Jr., 18, is charged in Cleveland Municipal Court with two counts of aggravated murder.
Two boys, ages 15 and 17, face charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. The 17-year-old boy pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday and a magistrate judge ordered him held in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center while his case is pending.
The charges filed on Tuesday give the first indication of what police believe is a possible motive, that the Thursday night murders are the result of a robbery. A detective wrote in court records that the trio shot and killed Skernivitz and Scott Dingess, 50, during an attempted robbery, Cleveland.com reports.
Det. Skernivitz was working undercover and investigating drug dealing in the area. He sat with Dingess in his unmarked car behind a mostly abandoned strip mall, according to law enforcement sources. Three people walked up to the car and opened fire, killing Skernivitz and Dingess, identified by the sources as a police informant.